Nutrition & Positive Psychology Health consultant Smaranda Maier of Authentic Health tells readers how to help boost your immune system.
WE ARE hearing more and more lately about how big the damage of the flu season and its variations between flu (Covid included) is for our health and wellbeing.
A well-boosted immune system should be well able to deal with and to protect us from devastating effects of those conditions. Cases and hospitalisations of conditions like flu and Covid have been rising in recent weeks and the expectation is that flu cases will peak in the first few weeks of the new year.
Can we do something to prevent this awful and devastating situation? Learning about how our body works and what is our biggest defence mechanism is the best starting point.
Our immune system does a remarkable job of defending us against diseases when it is functioning optimally. Our immune system is precisely that – a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. Our first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle.
Every part of our body functions better when protected from external assaults and bolstered by healthy living highlights such as:
• Eat a diet high in colourful fruits and vegetables.
Healthy immune system warriors need good and regular nourishment. The colourful fruits and vegetables provide our body with vitamins and minerals known as micronutrients and we all know that they are the pillars for our body’s defence mechanism. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc are only a few of the main micronutrients that are vital for an optimal immune system. The first go-to sources for all of them are fruits and vegetables in our diet. Studies show that having a healthy gut has a huge impact on our immune system. Eating fibres and fermented foods on a regular basis can improve your immune system dramatically.
• Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors.
Any form of exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases but exercising outdoors doubles the benefit by exposing our skin to sunlight. The sunlight stimulates our body’s natural production of Vitamin D. Therefore, it contributes to a healthy immune system.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
Overindulging over the winter season can be a serious risk factor for our immune system.
Both having a healthy balanced diet and exercising promote optimal body weight and a healthy immune system.
• Quit smoking.
As tough as it is this may sound for a smoker the benefits of quitting smoking are worth the effort of stopping doing something that negatively affects your overall well-being in so many ways.
• Get adequate sleep. A rested body is key for an optimal immune system. Our modern society experiences an increasing trend of reduced sleep with sleeping below the recommended ranges for health. Sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of infectious/inflammatory diseases. So, make sure that you sleep your way to a healthy immune system.
• Drink in moderation.
Not much to be added here apart from being mindful of the quantity and quality of alcoholic drinks, especially in the wintertime. Less is more, applies so well when it comes to alcohol.
• Minimize stress. Stress represents a serious danger to our general well-being. Modern medicine has come to appreciate the close link relationship of mind and body.
Even though stress is difficult to define or to be measured, because of its subjective and very personal component, ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system, as scientists
show. Taking regular short breaks when we work to practice breathing exercises can bring our nervous system in balance with a positive impact on our immune system.
Contact Smaranda on 083 030 63 60 or visit www.authentichealth.ie.